“When I was younger, there wasn’t really much that I had to talk about with my sister, she didn’t have the same interests as me. But as I grow up, there’s more things we talked about now, like talk about life in general. She’s been somebody that I’ve been able to look up to a lot more, because now we’re both just working people. And going through life and finding troubles with friends is something that we’ve been able to connect with.
I would say I have a pretty good relationship with my parents. There are a lot of times where we don’t have to talk about many things, but I can be in the same space with them and be comfortable. There were times where I got bullied in school or times where I had to figure out big decisions in my life and I was able to talk through it with them.
The value of meal time together is something that my family will never let go of. I realised my family really cares about that. I don’t think there’s ever been a time where, if it was possible, that I skipped out of that. We are always eating together at a certain time. Just sitting at the same table is something that they’ll always value. And it still goes on until now. I think that has contributed to how I respect my family because they respect that I’m part of this family.
My parents like looking at the old street views of Hong Kong just to see what they recognise. I don’t know how many videos I’ve watched, but I’ve seen so many of Hong Kong in the 70’s and 80’s. Lately, I’ve been asking them about the story of my grandparents, because they had a way harder time. This is something I wish I asked earlier, because only one of my grandparents is still here. The grandparents on my mom’s side were the ones I grew up with, but I didn’t get a chance to ask them and I’m only learning about their past through my mom now. She talked about how my grandpa met my grandma in China, but he had to go to Vietnam to work. She talked about the struggle of my grandma, living alone as a married woman in China, the social pressure that she got from people nearby and how she lived through it. And my grandpa’s work was just labour, all he did was deliver things on a bicycle. My grandpa from my dad’s side was incredibly skillful with his hands. All the bamboo dim sum baskets, he could make them out of scratch. And he also made hats and baskets. Those are the things that I only figured out much later because I started asking, because I was curious. Those are the things I kind of wish I learned earlier. Just to be able see how life was back then, and how it affected how my parents were raised.
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned [during COVID] is that I will never have time to do everything. The only thing I can do is to make time for the things I care about. Some people say, they’re so bored at home. I will never say that. Because there’s always something for me to do. There’s instruments at home, I want to learn to play. I want to learn how to cook. There will never be a time that I could do all and I have given up certain things in order to make room for others. That so it’s helped me realize what is really important, and what is a waste of time.
All photos provided by Trevor.